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Industry Update

Sep 21, 2020

Police nabbed a 40-year-old insurance agent for allegedly making forged marksheets and other documents.
Kamlesh Gopal Rana used to make fake school leaving certificates, voter ID cards, PAN cards and various other documents and selling them to people in need.

Also Read:- Automating onboarding for insurance agents

Following a tip-off, police sent a dummy customer posing as Class VIII pass and Rana agreed to make a marksheet of Class X for him. He demanded Rs 1,000 from him and fell into the trap. Rana promised him to provide the marksheet on mobile in a PDF format.
Meanwhile, Rana called the dummy buyer on Saturday and asked him to come to a photocopy shop to get a colour copy of the marksheet. Police nabbed him from the shop.

Police recovered a laptop, a blank school leaving certificate and few forged documents from him. While examining the laptop, police found that Rana had made fake documents for many people.
“He charged money as per the financial condition of the buyer. It ranged from a few hundred rupees to thousands,” said a police officer in Salabatpura police station.

Source: The Times Of India

Aug 31, 2020


Solan-based MBU had come under scanner after University Grants Commission (UGC) had written to authorities concerned in the state in August 2019 to conduct a thorough inquiry into the allegations of sale of fake degrees by APG University in Shimla and MBU, but the government remained silent for six months.

As the investigators dig deeper into the fake degree scam, hundreds of students passed out from Manav Bharati University (MBU) fear their degrees may be rendered invalid.

Solan-based MBU had come under scanner after University Grants Commission (UGC) had written to authorities concerned in the state in August 2019 to conduct a thorough inquiry into the allegations of sale of fake degrees by APG University in Shimla and MBU, but the government remained silent for six months. It was after repeated reminders from UGC that the Himachal government initiated a probe against the two private universities.

Read Also:-Fake Education Certificates – You are at Risk of Hiring a Fraudster

The UGC had informed that MBU had sold over four-five lakh degrees during the past seven years with the help of agents in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, West Bengal and South India, under the nose of HP Private Universities Regulatory Authority.

Now, with the special investigating unit probing case, the university passouts are worried about their future. They have formed a group and are demanding justice from the government.

“The university is being investigated for some illegal activities and allegedly fake credentials. We are suffering and seeking justice,” said a former MBU student not wanting to be named.

These students are worried that their genuine degrees may be labelled fake by the investigation team. Preliminary investigations conducted by the Himachal police found that the university used two-three different registration numbers for students. Students anticipate that registration numbers on their degrees may be invalidated.

“We are genuine students, but our documents could become invalid merely because we were issued a doubtful registration number by the university. It is not the students’ job to see which registration number they are being allotted. The university and government regulatory bodies are supposed to verify these things. Majority of MBU passouts belong to the lower-middle class, and now they might be on the brink losing jobs. Some already have as their degrees were not verified, said another alumnus.

Many degree holders preparing for various competitive examinations said they were unable to concentrate on studies because of the issue.

Source: Hindustantimes

Aug 31, 2020

Two persons, including a woman (32), have been arrested for allegedly duping investors in the name of lucrative insurance bonus or installation of mobile towers, Delhi Police said.

The two also impersonated insurance and telecom officials, as many forged documents and identity cards (IDs) of such officials were recovered from them along with four mobile phones, a laptop, fake voter IDs, and permanent account number (PAN) cards issued against forged documents, said Delhi Police’s crime branch officials, who are conducting the probe.

The arrested accused were identified as Brij Bhushan Sharma alias Vishal Sharma (34), the kingpin of the racket, and his aide, Neetu Pathak (32).

The duo belong to Modi Nagar in Uttar Pradesh (UP). They were caught on Saturday following investigation into a four-year-old cheating case registered at Uttam Nagar police station in west Delhi following a complaint of an Indian Army personnel. The case was transferred to the crime branch in March 2019, said BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (CP) (crime), Delhi Police.

The complainant, additional CP Singh said, in his complaint had alleged that in February 2016, he had received a call regarding investments in various insurance schemes for lucrative returns. The Army official was convinced that the schemes were genuine and he was tricked into transferring over Rs 25 lakh in various bank accounts, purportedly belonging to two companies, said Singh.

Also Read:- Identity Verification: Stepping Stone to Organisation Safety

“The culprits vanished after the funds were transferred. Soon, the Army personnel filed a cheating and forgery case,” Singh added.

The case was transferred to Delhi Police’s crime branch at the behest of the Delhi high court (HC) after local police authorities failed to make any breakthrough.

During the probe, an investigating officer (IO), who did not want to be named, said, the probe team examined details of the mobile numbers and bank accounts that were used in the crime. “The call details did not reveal much. The bank accounts were opened following the submission of fake IDs. While the cheated sum had been withdrawn through cheques and ATMs (automated teller machines),” the IO said.

However, the probe team stumbled upon a vital clue: one of the e-mail IDs mentioned in the account opening form was still operational. The details of the e-mail account were obtained from the service provider and the investigators found a mobile number that was still in use, said the additional CP.

“We caught Pathak, who was using the mobile phone through which she had been accessing the e-mail ID. Her interrogation led to the arrest of Sharma and the recovery of several incriminating documents,” he added.

During the interrogation, Pathak disclosed that she was part of the cheating syndicate and her job was to prepare forged documents such as voter IDs through which she applied for PAN cards. She also operated the fake e-mail IDs created in the name of the two fictitious companies. Sharma’s role was to call the potential investors and lure them into their web, said the additional CP.

The police said that Sharma used to work as a tele-caller in a call centre and Pathak worked in another office close to him.

In 2013-14, the two along with their other associates -- Dushyant Bhardwaj, Krishan Sharma and Saurabh -- had started a fake call centre from a rented space in Ghaziabad in the national capital region (NCR).

“They cheated many people on the pretext of insurance bonus, tower installation and other lucrative offers. The gang was disbanded in 2016 after the police went after them. However, Sharma and Pathak stuck together and kept on cheating people,” said Singh.

Now, a hunt is on for the other members of the cheating syndicate, the police added.

Source: Hindustantimes

Aug 11, 2020

The special investigation team of Himachal Pradesh Police crime branch that is probing the fake degree scam has sought records of last five years from private universities in Shimla.

Besides number of students enrolled and placements, the police have asked authorities of Alakh Prakash Goyal University located in the outskirts of Shimla town to submit records within the next week.

The university had allegedly sold fake degrees to scores of people in different states and many of them secured jobs in government departments as well as private companies.

Read Also: Fake Education Certificates – You are at Risk of Hiring a Fraudster

Last month, the crime branch had registered a case of forgery against the university after its special investigation team found that more than 200 degrees issued by the university were fake.

A case was registered under Sections 465, 467, 471 of the Indian Penal Code at the CID police station in Shimla. The investigation agency found that the university had issued the degrees without relevant records. Authorities had failed to provide satisfactory reply to repeated queries made by the sleuths.

“Now, we have sought fresh records from the university pertaining to admissions and degrees issued by them, which will be analyzed and investigated thoroughly, “ said a high rank police officer, requesting anonymity.

The university had been maintaining that it was not able to provide the records due to the Covid-19 lockdown. However, amidst the lockdown, the university had organised various webinars.

CONGRESS DEMANDS CBI PROBE

Congress legislator Rajendra Rana on Sunday asked the state government to explain the reason for hesitation to hand over the investigation of fake degrees scam in Manav Bharati University to the CBI. Rana alleged that the arrest of the king pin has proved that more than six lakh degrees were sold in India and in foreign countries and that many lawyers are practicing on the basis of fake LLB degrees.

He said the rates of fake degrees varied from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh and alleged that there was a nexus between the private universities and then government officials.

THE CASE

The fake degree scam, which was unearthed in February this year, after the University Grants Commission (UGC) received an anonymous complaint, involves the alleged sale of more than five lakh degrees by two private universities in Himachal, including MBU, Solan and APG University, Shimla.

The UGC had informed the state government about the alleged sale of fake degrees by the two universities seeking an appropriate action. A SIT was constituted to probe the fake degrees issued by the Manav Bharti University in Solan. The CID had filed its report revealing forgery in documents. In mid June, the police arrested the chairman of Manav Bharti University (MBU), Raj Kumar Rana, after the Himachal Pradesh high court refused to grant him an anticipatory bail. Earlier, the police had arrested KK Singh, former registrar of the university. Two university officials—registrar Anupama Thakur and assistant registrar Munish Goel—were also arrested in March.

The investigation revealed that MBU had issued several fake degrees to students. It also revealed that Rana and his family also possessed fake degrees. Since then, cases have been filed against MBU at various places, including Datia in Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Lucknow, Bilaspur and Pune.

Source: HindustanTimes

Jul 27, 2020

St Xavier’s Technical Institute’s complaint states original BE mark sheets were tampered with; teacher has been unreachable since January this year.

The St Xavier’s Technical Institute, Mahim, a wellknown institution in the city for technical courses, has filed a police complaint against a lecturer working there for the past 13 years for allegedly submitting fake mark sheets at the time of appointment.

The institute’s principal, Dr Shivaji B Ghungrad, submitted a statement to the police alleging that Manish Khobragade, a lecturer at the institute, gave mark sheets for Bachelorof Engineering (BE) from Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University (SRTMU), which were found to have been tampered with during an official verification 

The institute’s governing body decided to file a case against the teacher after the institute received no clarification from Khobragade after multiple reminders and a waiting period of eight months.

Ghungrad said in his complaint that Khobragade had been unreachable since January this year. Mirror did not get any response to calls made to Khobragade available with the institute and to messages on social media and email.

The Mahim police on Friday registered an FIR under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for forgery and cheating. “The documents are forged as per the complainant and we have taken all the relevant documents for further probe,” a police officer said.

Khobragade joined the institute as lecturer on March 8, 2006. As per his application for the post of lecturer in 2005, he completed his BE on August 10, 2002, from SRTMU. While examining his record of 13 years, Ghungrad found that he had taken unpaid leave of 340 days in his 13 years of service.

According to his complaint, he asked Khobragade for his original documents of educational qualifications, but he avoided submitting and cited family commitments and illness as the reasons for taking additional leave.

The complaint cites a report from SRTMU dated December 17, 2018, submitted to the institute, which states that the original mark sheets of second, third and final year, which Khobragade gave to the university as part of the verification process, were found to be tampered with.

“He was working as a lecturer in our college. Recently he had complained to me that he was up for a promotion. I then told him to submit the original documents. He has not only cheated the institute, but also played with the future of students,” Ghungrad said.

“However, he did not submit the documents, and that made us suspicious. After some days, he submitted the documents, which we sent to the concerned university for verification. The university replied that there was no such candidate and the mark sheet was forged. He has not reported for duty for the past sixseven months. He has disconnected all his numbers and has become incommunicado.”

The complaint cites other discrepancies, such as in the character certificate submitted by Khobragade, the term ‘TE’ (third year of engineering) has been changed to ‘BE’ (bachelor of engineering).

Khobragade also avoided submitting his originals during an assessment process by the Directorate of Technical Education and the All India Council for Technical Education. The institute also pointed out that Khobragade had not submitted experience certificates at the time of his appointment despite citing work experience of six years and one month in his application. “This suggests that he was employed at the time of completing his degree or that his work experience is false,” the complaint states.

Khobragade’s social media profile states: “Worked at St Xavier’s Technical Institute.” It also states he studied at the same institute. There is no mention of SRTMU. The principal’s complaint also said there were nearly 200 complaints from students against him expressing dissatisfaction with his teachingand that Khobragade had made complaints against the institute in the past.

The institute has started his termination process.

Source: IndiaTimes

Jul 22, 2020

School, college dropouts posing as doctors arrested in Hyderabad

A school and college dropout, posing as doctors, used forged documents to obtain a licence to operate a hospital in Hyderabad. Both men were arrested by police on Saturday night.

The chairman of Sameer Hospital, Md Shoaib Subhani (35) and the managing director Abdul Mujeeb (42) were both posing as doctors and allegedly even treated patients. Subhani had dropped out of his B.Com second year in 2006. He teamed up with his childhood friend Mujeeb to start Sameer hospital at Asifnagar in 2017, reported The Hindu.

Mujeeb had studied only upto class 10 but had worked as director of MM Hospital at Humayun Nagar earlier, before joining Sameer hospital, informed Gattu Mallu, an inspector with the Taskforce of the Hyderabad police to Times of India.

Police say that in order to get a registration certificate for Sameer hospital from the Director of Medical and Health office, Mujeeb used a fake Aadhaar card where his name was shown as Dr Md Abdul Mujeeb. The accused obtained the Aadhaar using fake identification documents and used the falsified Aadhaar to obtain permission for the hospital to operate.

The registration certificate issued by the DHMO (District Health & Medical Office) and the copy of Aadhaar card used to obtain the licence have been confiscated.

The duo, over the years, have been introducing themselves as doctors. Police say Mujeeb used to even examine patients posing as a paediatrician. The accused reportedly told the police that he did not prescribe any medicine but instead referred patients to other consultant doctors at the hospital. The West Zone Task Force carried out the investigation based on a tip-off and have handed over the case to the Asif Nagar police for further investigation.

Source: News Yahoo

Jul 03, 2020

At least 43 teachers of government primary schools in Agra and Kannauj have been booked for allegedly using fake B.Ed degrees to secure jobs.

The teachers – 24 in Agra and 19 in Kannauj – have been in the government job for nearly a decade and were dismissed from the service in March before the nationwide lockdown was announced. The government also plans to recover money which was paid to them as salaries for the past decade.

The government’s action came after an SIT report of UP Police investigating the 2004-05 B.Ed degree scam at Agra’s Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BAU).

The SIT, which submitted its report last December, found that 4,766 students received fake B.Ed mark sheets from the university. The report stated that while mark sheets of 1,084 students were tampered with, 45 students had duplicate roll numbers and roll numbers of another 3,637 people did not match with the university record.

Read Also:- The Importance of Education Verification to Mitigate the Risk of Wrong Hiring

“The SIT had earlier found them guilty after which they were dismissed from their jobs. Investigation has begun and soon action will be taken,” said Satendra Singh, Station House Officer of Shahganj police station in Agra where the FIR has been filed on a complaint of the local Basic Shiksha Adhikari.

The 24 teachers in Agra have been booked for cheating (IPC section 420), forgery (IPC section 468) among others. In Kannauj, the FIRs against 19 people have been lodged at seven different police stations of Kannauj.

Source: IndianExpress

Jul 03, 2020

The Uttar Pradesh government has handed over the investigation of fake appointments of thousands of teachers in UP Basic Education Council schools, working on the same PAN number, to Special Task Force.

Further, more than 100 such cases have also come up in which the salary of two teachers was going to the same bank account.

Basic Education Department wrote a letter to the Home Department to investigate the matter. Home department handed over investigation to STF on the instruction of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

“We investigated the people who were doing jobs on fake IDs. People have used the PAN number of the person who’s ID they were using for the Job. Original person received a notice from Income tax department that access money was being transferred into his account. When this matter came forward, other people who were working in this way changed their PAN numbers,” Amitabh Yash, Inspector General of Police, STF said.

“So we have asked for the list of people who have changed their PAN numbers. There is a possibility that some of the PAN numbers have errors and people must have rectified them but these numbers should be less. It is possible that PAN number have been changed by the people who were doing jobs on fake IDs. These numbers are in thousands,” added Yash.

The move was taken after Anamika Shukla case came to light which pertains to the appointment of teachers allegedly using fake documents in schools across the state.The case came to light after an FIR was lodged against Shukla for allegedly withdrawing over Rs 1 crore as salary for over a year from 25 different schools.

Source: HindustanTimes

Jul 02, 2020

The State Vigilance Bureau has booked 14 officials of the Fisheries Department, including three then Deputy Directors and one present Deputy Director, and two universities, one in Tamil Nadu and another in Rajasthan, in a fake MSc (zoology) degree scam

The officials had tried to take the benefit of fake degrees for promotion.

The FIR, registered on June 23, said as per the rules of the UGC and the Distance Education Council, courses through the distance education mode could be provided on the university campus only, and if they were being run outside the premises then permission had to be taken from the Central government.

Read Also:- Fake Education Certificates – You are at Risk of Hiring a Fraudster

Also, a candidate has to attend a personal conduct programme and practical classes for at least 20 days annually, but none of the officials had taken that much leave from the department, the FIR stated.

Neither they submitted a migration certificate nor the accused universities demanded.

These officials, as per the FIR, admitted to have attended the personal conduct programme and practical classes in the regional centres run by these universities in different districts of Haryana and had taken exams in designated centres of the universities. They claimed that they had attended classes either on Saturday or Sunday or declared holidays. The investigation, however, brought to the fore that most of them had taken a leave of four to seven days during exams only and some even didn’t take that.

A Deputy Director-ranked official told the Vigilance Bureau that he took the exam at the Tamil Nadu campus, which was termed false as no such long leave was taken. Some didn’t take permission before pursuing the course from the department but took the post-facto approval.

To hide the irregularities, the universities told the Vigilance Bureau that the officials had attended the personal conduct programme and practical classes on their campus. They had also claimed that the regional centres in different districts of Haryana were just their information centres.

The racket had continued from 2004 to 2015 in the Fisheries Department.

Fisheries Director had told the Vigilance Bureau in 2018 that none of the officials were granted the benefit of promotion based on these degrees.

The FIR has been registered for an attempt to cheat, using fake document as genuine and for giving false certificate.

Source: Tribune India